13 Wedding Expenses the Couple Most Often Pays For

Here's a breakdown of which costs real couples are financing themselves.
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Maggie Seaver is an Associate Digital Editor at RealSimple.com.
  • Maggie writes about life, career, health, and more.
  • Maggie was an editor at The Knot from 2015 to 2019.
Updated May 04, 2018

Just starting to make your wedding budget? You're in the right place. If you and your partner are planning to divide wedding expenses between you and your parents, you might be wondering exactly how much (and for what) everyone should chip in. While there are traditional guidelines surrounding who pays for what, you're welcome to split financial responsibilities however works best.

Today, on average, the bride's parents contribute 45 percent to the overall wedding budget and the groom's parents contribute 13 percent. But what's the couple expected to pay for? The to-be-weds often cover several details: their engagement ring(s), wedding bands, save-the-dates, honor attendant and wedding party gifts, gifts for each other, bridesmaid hair and makeup (if they're hiring pros), wedding party's getting-ready outfits, welcome bags, thank-you cards and the honeymoon (although sometimes parents or friends chip in as a gift to the newlyweds).

To see how closely today's couples are sticking to the above, read 13 wedding details most commonly financed by the couple, according to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study.

1. Rings and wedding bands: 78 percent

2. Bridesmaid gifts: 68 percent

3. Thank-you cards: 68 percent

4. Groomsmen gift: 64 percent

5. Invitations: 58 percent

6. Hairstylist: 52 percent

7. Save-the-dates: 51 percent

8. Photographer: 51 percent

9. Makeup artist: 48 percent

10. Wedding day attire: 42 percent

11. Wedding day beauty: 42 percent

12. Reception table, centerpieces or décor: 42 percent

13. Favors: 40 percent

Up Next
  • rose covered wedding ceremony arch
    The National Average Cost of Wedding Flowers